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Habitat Communities That Don't Fit In The "Normal Categories"
Habitat Communities That Don't Fit In The "Normal Categories"
​​Mountain Goats.

​​​​​​​What Is It?​

​A few habitat communities in Colorado do not classify within any specified habitat types fall into a miscellaneous “other” category.​

What Are Some Examples?

Alpine - Alpine habitat includes high-elevation dry tundra, fellfield, wet-meadow, and rock and scree co​mmunities. Alpine tundra is found at the highest elevations in our state, usually above 11,000 feet. Here the long winters, abundant snowfall, high winds and short summers create an environment too harsh for permanent human habitation.

Sandhill cranes near Monte Vista.Cliffs and canyons - Mountain cliffs and canyons habitats are found from foothill to subalpine elevations. They include barren and sparsely vegetated landscapes comprised of steep cliff faces, narrow canyons and open tablelands, as well as the unstable scree and talus slopes that typically occur below cliff faces.

Hot Springs - These habitats are limited to physical settings that allow groundwater heated by geothermal processes to rise to the surface. Many of Colorado’s hot springs have been developed for human recreation.

Reservoirs and shorelines - This man-made habitat is distributed across Colorado. The largest and most important from a habitat perspective include John Martin Reservoir and other reservoirs in southeastern Colorado.

Sand dunes - These environments are comprised of shifting, coarse-textured substrates and patchy or open grasslands or shrublands.

Agriculture - This habitat type refers to no-till and conventional till agriculture in both irrigated and dryland (non-irrigated) situations, including croplands and orchards.

​Learn more about these and other habitats in chapter 3 of the 2015 SWAP​.

A man on a jetski at John Martin Reservoir.

What Species Depend On These Habitats?

Each of these miscellaneous land types is a crucial habitat for many species. The greater sandhill crane​, a Tier 1 species of greatest conservation need, relies on agricultural habitat health. Alpine habitats fost​er brown-capped rosy finches and the Rufous hummingbird. Cliffs and canyons are home to multiple species of owls, bats​ and eagles​, as well as bighorn sheep​. 

What Challenges Does This Landscape Face, and What Is CPW Doing?

Recreational activities, mining and climate change​ are a few of the primary threats to these habitats. CPW addresses these by implementing best management practices, completing careful land use planning, and dedicating time to research and monitoring of fragile and changing habitats.